People aiding pilgrims to enter Makkah illegally to perform Hajj are now being penalized for it. It was announced on Monday that people who aid illegals in any way; may that be shelter, help during hajj season or aiding them to enter Makkah will have to pay for their actions. Maximum jail time for the individuals may be two years and up to SR 100,000 in fines may be imposed on them.
The Directorate General of Passports said, if individuals partaking in this act are foreigners, they will be deported after serving jail time and paying their fines. Their vehicles will also be confiscated along with their names being announced through local newspapers. An active effort is being done to prevent it from taking place. Authorities are present at various checkpoints around Makkah to take individuals into custody who are aiding people without a Haj permit. The Saudi Press Agency reported that punitive action will also be taken against them.
Jail time for individuals transporting pilgrims without a Haj permit will be fifteen days and fine upon him will be SR 10,000 along with his vehicle being confiscated. If this lawbreaking act is recurred by the individual, he will have to serve jail time of two months and pay a fine of SR 25,000 to the Saudi government. If the culprit breaks the law a third time, his jail time will be further increased to six months and the fine will amount to SR 50,000. In the case of either of these circumstances, the perpetrator will have his vehicle confiscated and if he happens to be a foreigner, he will be deported after serving the official jail term.
The Director said that the jail time and fines depend upon the number of illegal pilgrims being smuggled. If the pilgrims are two the penalties will be doubled and so on. He further advocated the citizens and expatriates to follow the rules and regulations. The actions taken against the people violating the laws is a good step towards preventing pilgrims illegally entering and is an important safety measure. It would also serve as a lesson to discourage individuals aiming to take part in this act.
Hajj and Umrah
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